RICHLAND - Junior Sterling Scott and sophomore Britany Messmore appear to have the best chances of any of the Grizzly harriers to move on to the 3A State meet.
The two Sunnyside High School cross country team members gave good accountings of themselves this past Saturday at the Mid-Valley League District meet. Scott finished eighth in the boys race, while Messmore earned a 12th place showing in the girls competition.
At this coming Saturday's Regional race in Deer Park, where all seven of the Mid-Valley League teams will compete against the Spokane area's 3A schools, the top 15 runners in both the boys and girls races will move on to the State meet.
At the District competition this past weekend, a 5,000-meter run hosted by the Hanford Falcons, both the Sunnyside boys and girls squads placed fifth from the seven-school field.
Ellensburg won the boys team title with a meet low 58 points, followed by Hanford in second with 67 points and West Valley third with 74 points. Selah placed fourth (79 pts.), Sunnyside fifth (121 pts.), Wapato sixth (134 pts.) and Prosser brought up the rear (172 pts.).
The girls team title was claimed by perennial powerhouse West Valley. The Rams, which claimed the top four individual finishes, garnered a meet low 17 points. Hanford's girls were second with 49 points. The third through seventh place finishing girls teams were Selah (93 pts.), Ellensburg (96 pts.), Sunnyside (139 pts.), Wapato (160 pts.) and Prosser (169 pts.).
Messmore, in placing 12th in the girls race, finished two minutes and 14 seconds back of the leaders. The Sunnyside sophomore clocked a time of 22:06 on the 5,000-meter course. West Valley's Michelle Schubert, a senior, and freshman Lisa Olander each posted winning times of 19:52.
The second Sunnyside girl to cross the finish line at Districts was sophomore Alyson Waddle. She finished in 24th place from the 47-girl field with a clocking of 24:18. The five other Lady Grizzly harriers who competed in Saturday's varsity race were sophomore Maria Montero, 30th in 25:14; sophomore Paloma Carrillo, 36th in 26:29; junior Rosie Lopez, 37th in 26:44; sophomore Alejandra Alvarado, 39th in 27:13; and sophomore Kelsea Means, 40th in 27:30.
The junior Scott ran to an eighth place finish in the boys race with a respectable clocking of 18:02. Selah's Gary Lorance, a senior, won the race in a time of 16:19. West Valley's Christopher Glaser was second in a time of 16:44, and Prosser's Nectaly Barbosa finished third in 17:04. Ellensburg, the boys team titlists, was led by junior Birkin Owart, sixth overall in a time of 17:56.
Based on how he fared at the District meet, it appears Sunnyside freshman Gracen Gonzalez has an outside shot of making it to State. The Grizzly underclassman ran to a 20th place finish, clocking an 18:31 in the process.
Sunnyside's five other varsity boys runners at District included sophomore Gilberto Villalobos, 28th in 19:22; sophomore Juan Gonzalez, 31st in 19:34; senior Joel Gaspar, 34th in 19:49; freshman Jacob Rogers, 35th in 19:50; and junior Zeke Galvan, 45th in 21:22.
This past Saturday's District meet also featured JV boys and girls races. The top finish garnered by a Sunnyside runner came from senior Andrea Benitez, 15th in the girls race with a clocking of 28:43. The JV girls race winner was West Valley senior Kristin Allan (23:54). The JV boys race winner was West Valley senior Seth Panattoni (18:56). Sunnyside's top finisher in the JV boys race was senior Andrian Licea, 23rd with a clocking of 20:37.